Retail Title Certificate – What is it?

If you are a cannabis retailer in Washington state you may have heard of, or even received a letter, referencing a retail title certificate. But what exactly is this new procedure?

The retail title certificate process is outlined in WAC 314-55-055, which states, “A marijuana retailer's license is subject to forfeiture if the retailer is not fully operational and open to the public after twelve months of issuance of the license or November 1, 2018, whichever is later.”

Fully operational, according to the rule, means the following criteria have been met “for at least twelve consecutive weeks within a twelve-month period after issuance of the license…”

  • Open to the public for a minimum of five hours a day between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight, three days a week;

  • Posts business hours outside of the premise in the public view; and

  • Reports monthly sales from the sale of marijuana products and pays applicable taxes.

But what if elements outside of your control prevent your business from meeting these criteria? Your business is only protected if:

  • There is a ban or moratorium prohibiting opening; or

  • “an ordinance or regulation related to zoning, business licensing, land use, or other regulatory measure that has the effect of preventing a licensee from receiving an occupancy permit from the jurisdiction or which otherwise prevents a licensed marijuana retailer from becoming operational.”

The WSLCB will soon be cracking down on licensee’s who do not fall under these protected categories.

While the rule offers some protection, ultimately it comes down to Agency discretion as to whether your business meets these protected classes. Here at C3, we will be watching this process closely to ensure that every licensee gets the fair and impartial treatment guaranteed by law.

If you or your business is struggling with the retail title certificate process, or any cannabis related matter, do not hesitate to reach out to our office today!